Author Topic: Soundproof Room  (Read 10093 times)

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Offline bezirani

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Soundproof Room
« on: July 10, 2012, 09:34:28 am »
Hi,

I'm trying to build a soundproof room inside my living room. I can't touch the structure of my house so I need to build a floating room.
I came across this video and was redirected to this forum for questions.

I'm wondering if a room like the one in the video can be a solution to my problem?
I'm a music producer and am looking for a cost effective solution for my noise complaint problems. I turn the music up for 2 minutes and someone knocks on the door!
My problem is mostly on the lower frequencies 20Hz to 1KHz.
Any help would be appreciated :)

Cheers,
BeZ
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2012, 10:02:52 am »
Soundproof rooms look very much like RF Anechoic Chambers,but the materials lining the rooms are quite different.
I worked for a while with Australian Hearing,& during that time, had the opportunity to visit the National Acoustic Laboratories,in Sydney N.S.W.

The Acoustic Anechoic Chamber there is extremely large,with sound absorbing panels in similar shapes to the RF panels in the video.
The floor is floating, to minimise noise & vibration transfer from outside.
The whole thing cost a king's ransom to build,but it is a full-on scientific instrument!

Some of the Australian Hearing offices,& some other such organisations had very much more modest "Soundproof Rooms"  where critical tests on people's hearing could be carried out.
Similar rooms were/are also common in Radio Broadcasting organisations.
There is a very high probability that the BBC has published information on the construction of this sort of facility.
 

Offline JuKu

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2012, 10:05:28 am »
Much cheaper to rent a place where you can make all the noise you want. A garage, a space in industrial area etc.

And the idea is not practical anyway. A floating room takes space. If your room isn't 3m or more to start with, you can't really do it. The cost is tens of thousands, if not hundreds. It is very easy to screw up, you need a firm that specializes in these. You'll might need a building permit. Think about electrical wiring,  sound proof air conditioning (tens of thousands right here!) and other issues. Etc.
http://www.liteplacer.com - The Low Cost DIY Pick and Place Machine
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 12:23:17 pm »
Materials for sound-proofing are expensive. I can't think of a way to make a living room on an America or british style soundproof without ruining the looks of the house and taking lots of space.

I *think* it may be cheaper to build a separate concrete room in your backyard, with double walls and stuff. Use heavy, dense materials to absorb low frequencies. There are also materials that eliminate reverb inside the room. You will have to use thick glass and the room has to be completely enclosed to absorb all the sound, so it gets really hot and you will need silent ventilation, which is basically having big ducts and being careful with vibrations and turbulence.

It is cheaper in the short term to get a space, not necessarily a studio. Anyway, if you get a space, make sure you make it suitable for music production as well.

This site has lots of info on sound engineering and that includes what you need as well:
http://www.record-producer.com/
 

Online G7PSK

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 12:31:16 pm »
I have seen rooms sound proofed with old egg boxes or trays and carpet underlay foam. I once got a reject walk in freezer to install a diesel gen set in, it worked very well 100mm of urethane foam sandwiched between 2 sheets of stainless steel, I picked it up for £50-00 from the factory that made them as one of the panels had a dent in it so it could not be delivered, you often see them for sale.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 12:35:16 pm by G7PSK »
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 02:15:34 pm »
I have seen rooms sound proofed with old egg boxes or trays and
I think this one was thought up by the egg board to shift more product. Sorry egg cartons are going to do some dampening of reflection and bugger all in terms of sound proofing.  Like prior posters have already stated you need density and isolation.

I office situations it common to use double thickness of gyprock (dry wall) to reduce intrusion to from quiet and conference rooms. Reduction is a lot of work, real soundproofing is expensive at an exponential rate to the number of db of attenuation you require.
Alternatively you could watch eBay for a used "cone of silence", that seemed to have some effect.
 

Offline bezirani

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 06:22:20 pm »
Thank you everyone.

Unfortunately renting a place is not an option for me right now. My living room is bigger than 5m x 5m and space is not an issue and I don't care about the look of the house after building this room. Egg boards won't work in this case as I'm working with a lot of low frequency.

 

Offline jahonen

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 06:55:23 pm »
You might want to reconsider this, since in order to get effective absorption, the absorptive material needs to be something quarter of wavelength from the edges of the wall (maximum point of particle velocity near acoustic impedance discontinuity, the wall). So for 20 Hz, the wavelength is about 17 meters and thus absorptive material should be about 4 meters from the wall(s). So the amount of material and space required is really huge.  But if you just want to prevent sound going outside of your room, then you should put as heavy walls as possible to prevent coupling (think something like a box carved from solid block of stone). Those cones/wedges are needed for higher frequencies to get better reflection suppression due to gradual acoustic impedance transition, analogous to the RF situation.

Regards,
Janne
 

HLA-27b

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2012, 07:39:25 pm »
It is possible to build some really effective constrained layer damping panels from common hardware store materials. No need for expensive "pro" stuff.

For example a sandwich of 4mm melamine plywood + 60mm rock wool +4mm plywood was both effective and cheap way back when I had to do the music room of the local school. The wall coverage was about 40% and all panels were mounted on rubber standoffs. The teachers from the adjacent classrooms commented on "remarkable improvement" but no hard measurements were made at the time. Most importantly for the school it was dirt cheap and sufficiently fireproof.

 

Online G7PSK

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2012, 08:22:38 pm »
That.s why the carpet underlay foam on the walls first, it is very dense rubber foam.
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 09:53:59 pm »
I think there might be some confusion between sound isolation and room tuning here. Panels on the wall and egg cartons etc are useful for room tuning, but not much good for sound isolation.

I've successfully built an audio production suite at my home and here's what I had to do. It's part of the house, not a separate bunker.
Construction of the shell is double brick with cavity and concrete flooring.
Then stud walls were built as well as the ceiling and floor. These were then packed out with high density sound insulation batts after the wiring was installed, including 'star' earthing system for all powerpoints.
The walls and ceiling were then lined with 13mm plasterboard and a layer of acoustic membrane. In Australia I used Quietwave (http://www.acoustica.com.au/quietwave.html), but there is also 'green glue' and other membrane products available.
Another 13mm plasterboard sheet was then placed over the top of this.
The floor had ply sheets laid over the studs, acoustic membrane and then hardwood timber flooring.
The door (I did not have any windows in this studio) is a solid core heavy door which had a layer of acoustic membrance and a sheet of timber applied to it along with the acoustic seals all the way around the jamb (including the bottom).
This worked really well, with a mix running at 85dB SPL you can only barely hear it outside the room at 1m.
Then came the room treatment for tuning, which included various panels on the walls (built with the Tontine Acoustisorb 3 50mm sheets) and some rugs on the floor.
I've done several mixes in this room over the past year and a few overdubs (vocals, guiltars, bass, percussion, sax) and it has performed very well.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

HLA-27b

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 11:57:13 pm »
This girl seems to know what she is talking about:

 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 12:10:05 am »
This girl seems to know what she is talking about:


That's room tuning, not sound isolation.
BTW, there's a lot of flutter in that room too, which won't be treated with those panels.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 

HLA-27b

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 12:49:28 am »
That's room tuning, not sound isolation.
BTW, there's a lot of flutter in that room too, which won't be treated with those panels.

Ok, I disagree with everything you said here but let's not get religious over acoustics.
The formula is on the wall so anybody with a calculator can see for himself whether or not acoustical energy gets absorbed and how much.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 02:55:19 am »
I think there might be some confusion between sound isolation and room tuning here. Panels on the wall and egg cartons etc are useful for room tuning, but not much good for sound isolation.

I've successfully built an audio production suite at my home and here's what I had to do. It's part of the house, not a separate bunker.
Construction of the shell is double brick with cavity and concrete flooring.
Then stud walls were built as well as the ceiling and floor. These were then packed out with high density sound insulation batts after the wiring was installed, including 'star' earthing system for all powerpoints.
The walls and ceiling were then lined with 13mm plasterboard and a layer of acoustic membrane. In Australia I used Quietwave (http://www.acoustica.com.au/quietwave.html), but there is also 'green glue' and other membrane products available.
Another 13mm plasterboard sheet was then placed over the top of this.
The floor had ply sheets laid over the studs, acoustic membrane and then hardwood timber flooring.
The door (I did not have any windows in this studio) is a solid core heavy door which had a layer of acoustic membrance and a sheet of timber applied to it along with the acoustic seals all the way around the jamb (including the bottom).
This worked really well, with a mix running at 85dB SPL you can only barely hear it outside the room at 1m.
Then came the room treatment for tuning, which included various panels on the walls (built with the Tontine Acoustisorb 3 50mm sheets) and some rugs on the floor.
I've done several mixes in this room over the past year and a few overdubs (vocals, guiltars, bass, percussion, sax) and it has performed very well.

Yes,the NAL facility which I referred to earlier,was an Anechoic Chamber,so the funny looking panels performed that function.
Because it is a Scientific facility,it must also suppress external sound which might interfere with experimental work.
As it is inside a thick concrete building,it is halfway there to start with.
 
The other "soundproof rooms" referred to were very much less ambitious structures,which mainly were designed to prevent transmission of sound between the interior & exterior of the room,& vice versa.
From memory,both types had some anti reflection stuff,but were basically reliant on sound attenuation rather than room tuning.
The bloke who bought my old house built something very similar to the one you describe,although it is a stand alone unit.
The house itself is fibro!
 

Offline Ed.Kloonk

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 09:54:50 am »
Hi,

I'm trying to build a soundproof room inside my living room. I can't touch the structure of my house so I need to build a floating room.
I came across this video and was redirected to this forum for questions.

I'm wondering if a room like the one in the video can be a solution to my problem?
I'm a music producer and am looking for a cost effective solution for my noise complaint problems. I turn the music up for 2 minutes and someone knocks on the door!
My problem is mostly on the lower frequencies 20Hz to 1KHz.
Any help would be appreciated :)

Cheers,
BeZ

The real low freqs are the hardest to get rid of, either emanating from in and outside the room. I built a man cave in the outskirts of Sydney that had much treatment during construction such as isolated walls with double fire-rated plasterboard, isolated fire-rated ceiling with special acoustic isolation mounts, tropics rated insulation and sound dampers on the walls/ceiling inside but they are to reduce the echo really. But despite this very high sound attenuation, again both in and out, I still do get the rumble of nearby planes landing when inside.

The real low frequencies are damn hard to eliminate without the use of very thick walls like the ones in they use in prisons. I probably should qualify how I know this. Some time ago I visited Dubbo Jail. Not for punishment, as a tourist as it is now a disused jail and is open to the public.

http://www.olddubbogaol.com.au/

What astounded me is just walking in to the prison courtyard via a corridor from the busy main street, there is a sudden feeling of unawareness of the outside world. It is so quiet. And to top it off, the solitary cell is somehow even quieter and dark as well. A visit to an anechoic chamber is a disturbing experience, though it does still seem quite scientific. But the solitary cell, man that is unsettling.

I have digressed. I didn't have the luxury of double brick walls at the time of my design, but I can vouch for the high success gained for a little effort on a room such as the one DrGeoff says he built.

 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 11:14:24 am »
If I may ask a somewhat related question;

Has anyone used the CSR Gyprock Soundchek product to line a shared office wall?  In my case I'd only be able to line my side.

Stopping the noise from the office next door would be nice.  It seems to be resonating in the actual wall cavity despite it being filled with some sort of fibre material (like speaker wadding).

That one wall is all we really share.  Adding insulation to the ceiling did help with the noise transferred via the ceiling space, but the plaster board common wall seems to be surprisingly transparent!

Sheeting the wall will of course be a hassle with altering the suspended ceiling, trimming the carpet and painting of the new surface.  Any other ideas?
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 11:32:32 am »
Has anyone used the CSR Gyprock Soundchek product to line a shared office wall?
It works, miracles not included.

Quote
In my case I'd only be able to line my side.
One side is better than no sides

Quote
Stopping the noise from the office next door would be nice.  It seems to be resonating in the actual wall cavity despite it being filled with some sort of fibre material (like speaker wadding).
That what the higher density gyprock is best at helping with. The wadding too, but wadding won't stop the sheets resonating. Double sheeting standard gyprock is the budget alternative. Expect to pay a premium for the soundchek stuff.

Quote
That one wall is all we really share.  Adding insulation to the ceiling did help with the noise transferred via the ceiling space, but the plaster board common wall seems to be surprisingly transparent!
It's common for architects and dodgy fitout contractors to extend the wall through ceiling cavity from slab to slab. Careful when doing this though as false ceiling is more often than not the A/C return air path.

Quote
Sheeting the wall will of course be a hassle with altering the suspended ceiling, trimming the carpet and painting of the new surface.  Any other ideas?
On a budget you can fix additional sheet/s to the existing wall trimmed from the extents and edged with aluminium or brass angle. I've seen that applied many times. painted or covered in fabric or carpet. Won't achieve miracles but will help. Don't have to redo everything to re-sheet the wall.
 

Online EEVblog

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 11:46:37 am »
If your goal is to simply stop audio from getting out (or more likely just attenuate it), then you need sound something like Tontine Acoustisorb 3:
http://www.soundblock.com.au/pdf/tontine_accoustisorb_3.pdf
You can build whatever type of room you want, you simply have to add this stuff to the wall cavities.
For the low frequencies you'll need the thickest stuff (and maybe multiples)
Note the absorbtion coefficient of 0.63 at a realatively high 125Hz.

Low frequencies will also couple through things like the frame and into the floor etc.

But just doing this I suspect you'd attenuate enough to stop the door knocks.

Dave.
 

Offline David_AVD

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2012, 12:04:30 pm »
Quote
Double sheeting standard gyprock is the budget alternative. Expect to pay a premium for the soundchek stuff.

Spending $500 - $1000 to stop the noise would be acceptable.  There's also the question of privacy for us too.  (client meetings, etc)  The wall is about 5m wide x 3.6m tall (including above false ceiling) I'd say.  I might ring CSR tomorrow for indicative pricing.

Quote
It's common for architects and dodgy fitout contractors to extend the wall through ceiling cavity from slab to slab. Careful when doing this though as false ceiling is more often than not the A/C return air path.

The shared wall does extend almost to the roof.  It stops about 200mm short at a guess. Each office has it's own A/C system so no shared ducting either.

Quote
On a budget you can fix additional sheet/s to the existing wall trimmed from the extents and edged with aluminium or brass angle. I've seen that applied many times. painted or covered in fabric or carpet. Won't achieve miracles but will help. Don't have to redo everything to re-sheet the wall.

Moving the false ceiling edge metal and trimming the bars and tiles would be possible, but fiddly.  Most of the sound is being transmitted directly through the wall, so extending the extra layer above the false ceiling may not offer that much more benefit.
 

Uncle Vernon

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2012, 01:09:08 pm »
If your goal is to simply stop audio from getting out (or more likely just attenuate it), then you need sound something like Tontine Acoustisorb 3:
http://www.soundblock.com.au/pdf/tontine_accoustisorb_3.pdf
You can build whatever type of room you want, you simply have to add this stuff to the wall cavities.
For the low frequencies you'll need the thickest stuff (and maybe multiples)
Note the absorption coefficient of 0.63 at a relatively high 125Hz.

Low frequencies will also couple through things like the frame and into the floor etc.

But just doing this I suspect you'd attenuate enough to stop the door knocks.

Dave.

There is already wadding in the cavity though likely not as dense as the tontine stuff!  Would have to unsheet the wall to change it though.

Another product I didn't mention is wave bar. This is used a lot to stop transmission of fan and motor noise through ceilings.
http://www.pyroteknc.com/.html
 

Offline bfritz

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2012, 02:39:37 pm »
For such low frequencies, the noise will be coupled primarily through mechanical connections.

For example, filling a wall that is made of metal or wood studs with soundproofing material will have little effect, as the sound will be coupled from the drywall on one side, into the studs, and onto the wallboard on the other side.  This also happens with ceilings and floors.

The best solution available without spending tons of cash, is to use isolation channel.  This puts a material between the two pieces of building material, that is designed to absord much of the vibration energy.  A link for one manufacturer is below, and will give you an idea of how this works.

http://www.kineticsnoise.com/arch/pdf/isomaxinstall.pdf

Note that products exist for ceilings and floors as well.  How well you can do, is going to be limited by your budget.  Note that if you don't take the time to understand how the sound is transmitted, it is easy to spend lots of money, and get poor results.

The site I referenced above for the isolation channel has lots of good papers on how to use their various products.  I suggest you read up a bit at their site, of the various "white papers" available.  This will save you money.

http://www.kineticsnoise.com/

Note that I am not affiliated with the company, but have used their products with success.  Don't be afraid to google around for other suppliers of the products mentioned, as plenty of manufacturers make these kind of products.
 

Online G7PSK

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2012, 03:27:15 pm »
Silly question, but what is wrong with headphones.
 

Online SeanB

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2012, 03:43:14 pm »
The neighbours refuse to wear them?
 

Offline DrGeoff

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Re: Soundproof Room
« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2012, 10:04:39 pm »
Silly question, but what is wrong with headphones.

You can't produce a decent mix using headphones. Nearfields are a must, and they should be run at 79dB SPL each (pink noise @ -20dBFS) at the listening position to be effective.
Headphones are good for careful listening of individual parts to seek out noise or tuning problems. Having said that, the final mix has to sound good both on several monitors (including a mono balance monitor) as well as headphones and earbuds.
Was it really supposed to do that?
 


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